No… this isn’t about being environmentally conscious – although that is a good idea.
Everyone remember my buddy Shelly? She’s got a small video thing going – and from time to time she hits me up for ideas. This time its a small Halloween Zombie flick and she’s been having problems getting a good clip of a virus growing out of control. So I ask her to get online and I share my desktop so I can see what’s she’s been doing.
Let’s go over what she’s tried so far… clips of blood cells floating and even going disease ridden. Good – but they look a bit too much like the same clips of blood cells floating by you see all the time – and very… 1960’s Fantastic Voyage – not really able to build any tension when you see them – because you expect Raquel Welch to float by in scuba gear any second. Then… there’s Clips of viruses from CDC and other places …which… looked a bit too much like something from a High School Health Class once again – about all the menace of well… virus videos from health class. She tired zooming in to make the virus grow, adding filters, colorizing – all kinds of stuff and it just didn’t get the menacing look she wanted.
Now, why a fireball? Because they have this lovely growing and snarling growth pattern. There’s something incredibly feral about fire – so we started with a fire. We opened after effects – and we added a solid, then added the fireball footage I had, and used that as a texture on this lovely blood red solid. So that the texture grows incredibly fast in all it’s firely furry.
Now – when you make fire a texture you get this very 2 dimensional flat almost sandstone look… and at this point Shelly’s pretty much decided I’ve lost any touch I ever had… and here’s the 50,000 dollar tip for the day about making a slick organic from a texture. The glass filter. ‘)
Glass filter has this wonderful ability to smooth and add a sheen to the texture. Makes it very blood / liquid like. Now she sees what we’re up to… organic looks are really all about this very uneven growth pattern that looks – controlled. Flames do that very well – as do water – even explosions – heck try several things and play around with it you’d be surprised at the results.
Now – here’s the full sequence for those who want to try this… I used a flame – but you can choose any video clip you want. I’m totally about playing around with different clips and see what kind of weirdness you get.
1) Video Clip (Fireball)
2) AE Solid > Color it how you like.
3) Texture the Solid with the Video Clip.
4) Apply the Glass filter to the Solid.
5) Apply Color Correction > Curves and adjust to your taste. (Higher contrast gives a lot of drama)
6) Apply Text and other filters of your choice…. enjoy.
In this case – I added a very simple timer and slapped the name of the virus for text, then added a video camera look to it using scan lines… and as the virus grows out of control we flare the light, adjust the focus with a blur, and eventually – even drop glass shattering like it’s broken the slide it’s under from growth. An effect that I always loved – going back to old 1960’s movies like… the Fantastic Voyage… okay it’s hokey but it’s fun – and as long as it’s very short it works. As with almost everything here – this is a project that will take about an hour of your time, it’s quick, and its from nothing but reused / recycled footage – which I’ve preached the glories of several times. (Always keep your old stuff – even if it’s not useful for the project because you never know what it’s good for!! :D)
Here’s the final: